I'm pleased to welcome Francine Clouden to Unfinished 2015 today! Francine is a gifted scrapbooker, crafter, and all-around creative who is always up to something interesting. You can check out the rest of the series here!
Tell me a little about your creative history!
I find it interesting that I even have a creative history, since I never thought as myself as creative when I was a child. Because I sucked at the “traditional” kinds of art—drawing and painting—I just assumed that I wasn’t creative. I also had a really bad experience with my high school art teacher who would send home pretty mean remarks in my report (I don’t even understand why art is graded!). So I veered towards the sciences. It was only as an adult that I rediscovered arts and crafts. It started with an obsession with craft books I would find at the bookstore, moved on to candle making, and then I discovered scrapbooking in 2001 (which is how we eventually met, so yay!). As they say, the rest was history. After delving into scrapbooking for a few years, I discovered I absolutely loved creating, and this lead to me rediscovering my joy for paper crafts as well as other things like home decor, crochet and knitting.
Ha! I don’t really have a method. I think a lot of it is based on what I need at the moment. I usually make things that I will be using in some way, not items that end up stashed in a cupboard. I really enjoy making things for our home, so a lot of times I am creating home decor or useful items like baskets or scarves. Other times, I will see an idea online (I am a Pinterest addict), that will spark something, and then I pretty much drop everything to get that one thing done. My son, who knows I am a maker, will also ask me to make things for him, so there’s that too. Because crafting is also a part of my online business, sometimes what I am making is dictated by the business projects I am working on at the time.
Do you prefer to streamline your creative process or work on many things at once? What are the benefits and disadvantages of your approach?
I work on many things at once. I have so many different crafts that I enjoy, that it’s hard not to. (And I just added a new one after acquiring a weaving loom a couple weeks ago.) The advantage is that I am never bored. The disadvantage is that I end up with many unfinished and sometimes forgotten projects! Also my office/craft room is always a huge mess.
I may not be the best person to answer this! What usually works for me is having a deadline. This is great when there’s an upcoming event or holiday. I like to make handmade gifts, so an approaching birthday or holiday like Christmas or Easter would motivate me. I also find that I am more apt to finish something that I have an actual use or need for. My sister and I do a monthly blog project where we work on ideas we find on Pinterest, so that guarantees that I get one thing finished each month!
Do you find it easy to let projects that just aren’t working go? Why/why not?
It depends on why they aren’t working. If it’s because it’s a craft that I truly don’t enjoy then yes. If it’s a matter of a lack of skill or time, I will hang on until I can either learn what I need to know, or find the time “someday” to get it done. Also if it really looks like crap, then I will toss it, but probably start from scratch.
What are your project goals for 2015? Do you have any lingering projects to finish up?
An immediate project that I am now getting working on, and one that has a definite deadline, is preparing for my son’s birthday party on April 12th.
One of my biggest projects this year is to declutter and beautify our home. So I am slowly working on clearing out things from varying rooms, and deciding what DIY projects I’ll be attacking. As I’m writing this I realise it is now April, and I haven’t done much of this yet!
Would you laugh if I said I still need to send out some Christmas gifts? ;) My sister taught me how to knit socks last year, and so far I have completed a grand total of one sock. I absolutely must finish the other side soon. My grand goal is to gift everyone socks at Christmas this year. I also started a crochet unicorn for my son back in January, with some luck it will be in his Easter basket. Then there’s that green knitted cowl that I keep making a mistake on. I need to rip it for the third time and start over!
Francine is a former engineer from the Caribbean who now lives in France. She adores all things crafty and vintage, including scrapbooking, photography, home décor, crochet, and knitting. Her husband and six-year-old son are the guinea pigs to her many crazy ideas. She is a huge technophile and has a crazy obsession with printables, which led her to create Printably, a membership site for others who love their printers too. Connect with Francine online at Callaloo Soup and check out Printably, as well as her French vintage items shop at Etsy. In addition, you can always find Francine and her unfinished and finished projects alike on her favorite social media platform, Instagram, as @francinecallaloosoup.
p.s. Curious about callaloo soup? Francine answers that here!